Published On: Tue, Jun 12th, 2018

Puzzles – the revival of old school family entertainment

Many years ago, I would probably do a puzzle once every six months. When the kids came along, there was fat chance of completing one a year. Infact, I didn’t tackle one until my youngest turned 10, and in recent years, it has become evident to me that puzzles are experiencing a revival in the form of old school family entertainment.

Puzzle companies such as Ravenchoosing a puzzlesburger are standing the test of time with the company established in 1883, and from the amount of stores now selling a range of puzzles, their popularity seems to be on the rise.  Parents are looking for alternatives to screen time, and activities that can be inexpensive and encourage family interaction. With just one puzzle company experiencing sales over 400million, it looks as though the trusty puzzle is here to stay.

If you think puzzles might be your thing, I have some great tips to help you choose and complete your puzzle.

  1. There are so many to choose from appealing to all tastes. Country themed, movie themed, food themed, super sized 8000 piece puzzles, coaster size, 3D, you name it, there is a puzzle for it.¬†I believe to choose the right puzzle, you must feel something when you look at the picture. I tend to be drawn to pastel colours and puzzles that scream country or medieval life. Don’t buy a puzzle you don’t love. You are going to spend many an hour with that puzzle, so if you don’t love it, it will simply find it’s way back in the box and under your bed.
  2. When buying your first puzzle, choose a smaller one say no more than 500 pieces. This way your family will be able to achieve completion in good time providing satisfaction quickly and building of confidence for the next possibly larger puzzle.
  3. Shop around. I find Kmart has a bit of a range which seems to be growing bigger, but if you want selection, you need to go to ‘The Games Shop’ such as the one in Hornsby, Charlestown or Erina NSW.
  4. Trade with your friends. I get attached to some of my puzzles so I tend to loan them out instead of swapping them for keeps.
  5. Beware buying online if you have never seen the puzzle before in the store. I want to hold the box before I buy it, see how it makes me feel. Silly perhaps, but too often a puzzle has not been as I expected when arriving in the post and ultimately ends up never being completed.
  6. You need to put your puzzle in an out of the way space, but not so out of the way that it will be forgotten. We have ours on a low board infront of the TV, perfect for watching Masterchef and puzzling. Doing your puzzle on a large sturdy piece of cardboard will give you the flexibility to move it easily if need be.
  7. It would pain me to pack away a puzzle, especially one of the more difficult ones when so much work had gone into it. I now take a photo of the completed puzzle before putting it away and now have a collection of wallpaper puzzle options. The lady in the Games Shop at Hornsby tells me that you are not supposed to put the puzzle into an enclosed frame, but rather leave the glass out. There is a solution you can buy that when you place it onto the done puzzle, it expands the pieces slightly so they can’t come apart in your frame.

Happy puzzling!


For more ideas on how to keep the kids busy visit our Busy Kids page.

By Danielle Mantakoul

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